File photo of DAK president Dr Suhail Naik

Srinagar: Following the continuous spike in Covid-19-related deaths in the valley, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Saturday demanded setting up of an audit committee for the deaths saying that “people across J&K are confused about who died due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said it is very important that the case of each deceased should be discussed by a committee to know “what was the underlying cause of death (UCOD), immediate cause of death, and factors leading to the immediate cause, and co-morbidities.”

“There is lot of confusion among people that how bucketing of deceased is done and are classified in to Covid-19 or non Covid death,” he said.

Citing an example of death of a boy from Handwara, Dr Naik said that many deaths have medico-legal aspects and outcome of probe and subsequent punishment under law may change by providing a wrong death certificate.

Earlier this week, an 18 year old boy from Handwara died and was declared as COVID-19 positive even as the deceased was thrashed allegedly during a family feud.

He said that an accurate count of the number of deaths caused due to COVID–19 infection, which depends in part on proper death certification, is critical to ongoing public health surveillance, response and policy switching.

“The Death Audit committee should go through the case sheets, investigations, and death summary of the deceased before classifying it as a Covid-19 death,” Dr Naik said.

“The audit committee should follow the guidelines prescribed by the ICMR and all hospitals should submit their death summaries to the committee within 24 hours,” he demanded.

So far, 78 people have died after tested positive for Covid-19 in J&K includes 69 from Kashmir while nearly 6000 people have been infected by the virus.

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